Potty training advice for Americans
I’m going to give advice.
I’ll probably get some hatemail for it, but here’s the deal: I read a lot of Americans’ blogs and when it comes to potty training, there seems to be a reoccurring theme – a potty is introduced into the household when the child is already passed their 2nd birthday, the child has no concept of this weird object and resists having anything to do with it. The parents say “Oh well, he/she is not ready, let’s wait for another year and try again”.
Here are my suggestions.
Introduction to potty training:
- Bring a potty (or two) into the household before their 1st birthday, preferably around the time they are able to sit up unassisted.
- Have the potty in a visible place (we have one in the living room, as well as one in the bathroom).
- In the beginning, put them on the potty after they wake up from naps. Most of the time you’ll score.
- When you do score, make a big song and dance about it. High five to your heart’s content.
- Keep this game up until your child’s second summer. Yes, that can be months, but it’s important that the potty is not an alien item to them. Just as long as they get to sit on it once or twice a day will give them enough familiarity for when the training speeds up.
Final phase – second summer
We did it in June for both boys and for my firstborn it meant that he was 2 years and 4 months and for my second one it meant that he was only 19 months.
- Take away the nappies/diapers. Put a few pairs of underwear on them, it’ll make the puddles on the floor a little bit smaller than they would be otherwise :)
- Sit them on the potty every 10-20 minutes. Most of the time they’ll do something in it within a few minutes. If they don’t, let them go about their business and try again later. I don’t think it’s worth making them sit on the potty for long periods at a time.
- When they use the potty for its intended purpose proceed with song/dance/high-fiving.
- If they have an accident, don’t make a big deal of it. Just say something along the lines of an “oopsie daisy” and put them on the potty anyway, most of the time you’ll catch something in the potty as well. Then you can sing/dance/high-five.
- When you’re out of the house, take a few pairs of spare clothes with you and a portable potty.
- Driving could make things tricky – we don’t have a car so I never had to worry about long periods in the car. You might have to put a nappy on for long car trips, just make sure to take it off once you’re reached your destination.
- Within a few weeks, your little one should be trained and have minimal accidents. Even if they can’t verbally express that they need to go, they’ll be able to point to their private bits or pick up the potty and take it to you indicating they need to go.
This is how it worked for us and I definitely think the earlier they get used to the concept of a potty, the easier it’ll be.
Night time is a bit of a different story as it sort of relates to their brain development more than training. My 2-year old is still in nappies at night, although most of the time they are dry in the morning.
Does all of this sound too crazy? Other early potty-trainers – what did I miss? What worked for you?